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Gloucester City's Schooner christen Today 11 AM

By Bill Cleary

At 11 AM today (Saturday) the City of Gloucester City will officially christen the new schooner, The Northwind/Saoirese Ceallaigh pronounced SEER-Shuh Kail-ay, Dsc03889 meaning freedom from strife at the former Coast Guard Base, (Freedom Pier) King and Cumberland Streets and the Delaware River waterfront.


The City's Shamrock Festival is also being held today.


Councilman Nick Marchese was asked how the City government chose the name for the vessel. He explained the idea for it came about during a discussion among the mayor, council members and City Administrator Paul Kain.


Marchese said, “This Irish name using two words, Freedom, the Mayors suggestion for Freedom Pier which is the schooner's new home in Gloucester and my suggestion was the name Kelly, which is my mother’s maiden name.  I wanted to honor my mother Aileen who died this past winter and all of her sisters who were born and raised in Gloucester City.  The Kelly family has been in this city for many years.  They are all Irish Catholic with a very strong faith in God and Gloucester City. Anyone who knew and loved them knew they were good Gloucester people.  Many of their children still live in Gloucester and surrounding communities who continue to carry on traditions taught by the Kelly sisters.


“I have thanked the Mayor and Council members for this honor.  I know the Kelly family, William, Grace, Edna, Alice, Girt, Rosemarie (Sis), Theresa, Aileen, Florence (Nonnie), and Pat would be very proud to have this honor in the naming of this schooner and to be a permanent part of Gloucester City’s history forever” said Marchese. 

Pat Kelly Avis, the only surviving sister was asked to christen the vessel. Pat, who accepted the invitation,  is still involved in Gloucester City through Saint Mary's Church.

The Gloucester City Shamrock Festival begins at 11 AM and will continue to 7 PM. It is being held along the Delaware River waterfront south on King Street towards the City Marina and will include Proprietor’s Park.

Added to the festivities is a free ride on the Northwind/Saoirese Ceallaigh. The first 100 people who register Saturday will be given a ride on the vessel that day. You can sign up at Freedom Pier.

Please visit for further information.